Examples Of Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Prejudice Brings Inequality
Imagine that you are a framed black man sitting in the middle of a courtroom full of people that are mostly against you. The man that’s defending you, Atticus Finch, has just handed the floor to Mr. Gilmer, the man that’s defending the person that has framed you. You’re scared, nervous, and you have no idea what to do. You know that Mr. Gilmer is going to cut up the little dignity that you have. This is how Tom Robinson feels during the trial scene of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. He’s afraid, and stripped of all honor and respect, thanks to Mr. Gilmer. During the trial, Mr. Gilmer is very rude and disrespectful towards Tom, with his unfair words and uneducated as well as ignorant questions. This not only …show more content…

Gilmer is a person who is very ignorant, especially when he talks to Tom Robinson during the trial. During the trial, Mr. Gilmer states [to Tom Robinson]; ‘“With Mr. Ewell and seven children on the place, boy?’” (Lee 224) This piece of evidence shows how Mr. Gilmer is ignorant because only an ignorant and uneducated man with unjust prejudices would address a grown man as ‘boy.’ By doing this, he is only looking at the color of Tom’s skin as opposed to treating him like an equal in the courtroom. Later, Mr. Gilmer also questions Tom by asking; “‘You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?”’ (Lee 224) This quote also represents ignorance because it clearly shows how Mr. Gilmer thinks of black people, and how he thinks that they can never feel bad for white people, just because white people are held higher in society. That would be equivalent to being one-sided, with several heavy prejudices and no open-mindedness whatsoever. Considering this, Mr. Gilmer is a hypocrite, for he indirectly calls Tom by a quality that best defines himself. Therefore, Mr. Gilmer is an ignorant person in the …show more content…

Gilmer is also a person who is very unfair to people of color like Tom. During the trial, Scout narrates; “I knew that Mr. Gilmer would sincerely tell the jury that anyone who was convicted of disorderly conduct could easily have had it in his heart to take advantage of Mayella Ewell, that was the only reason he cared.” (Lee 223) This evidence further explains Mr. Gilmer’s unfairness and rudeness, as it shows that he actually wants to be able to charge someone as truly guilty for assaulting Mayella, especially Tom, because Tom is black. At the end of the sentence, it says, “that was the only reason he cared.” (Lee 223) This is entirely true, as it foreshadows more injustice to come, because Mr. Gilmer already knows what his decision on the convicted one will be, without even having proper evidence. During the middle to the end of the trial, a conversation between Mr. Gilmer and Tom Robinson—during Tom’s questioning—takes place; ‘“Robinson, you’re pretty good at busting up chiffarobes and kindling with one hand, aren’t you?” (Says Mr. Gilmer) “Yes, suh, I reckon so.” (Replies Tom) “Strong enough to choke the breath out of a woman and sling her to the floor?”’ (Says Mr. Gilmer) (Lee 223) This evidence shows how Mr. Gilmer easily makes innocent people look bad by simply playing with a few words on his tongue. There is no respect in Mr. Gilmer’s voice, and his poor arguments and rude tone easily express a lack of respect for basic courtroom equality. Tom, on the other hand,

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